2020-21 Catalogs

Concentration in Counseling - Social and Behavioral Sciences

The Counseling Concentration is available to SBS majors. 

A concentration is simply a way for students to organize their six required SBS electives at the 300-level or above for the major. This concentration offers the options of an adult focus, a child-youth focus, or a combination of both. SBS students in this concentration may take specific courses to qualify them for MHRT/C certficiation, a valuable state-level credential issued through the Muskie School's Center of Learning.

The Counseling Concentration provides students with an introduction to theory, topics, and skill areas relevant to professional applications in counseling. Embedded in the interdisciplinary SBS major, it provides perspectives and critical thinking skills related to the multiple layers of influence - individual, social, and cultural - that shape human behavior. Students gain familiarity with:

  • developmental trajectories and the roots of personality;
  • issues of diversity, gender, and culture;
  • biopsychosocial approaches to diagnosis;
  • the broad array of available counseling and psychotherapy techniques;
  • social services and factors that impact access to them.

Organizing the choice of SBS electives through this concentration strengthens students’ preparation for entry into a variety of positions related to the helping professions, as well as for the pursuit of graduate study.

**Students should complete the necessary paperwork so that the counseling concentration appears on their MaineStreet academic plan.**

Graduate School Options:

Accelerated undergraduate to graduate pathways from the SBS Counseling Concentration to USM Masters degree programs in Counseling and Social Work are available. Visit the Accelerated Pathways webpage, check with your advisor, and visit the Office of Admissions for application information.


To complete the Counseling Concentration, students select their six SBS electives by taking the two required foundational courses, plus one chosen from each of the four categories below. Any substitutions must be approved by a faculty adviser.  In addition, the internship required for the SBS BA degree must be in a counseling/clinical setting (broadly defined).

Foundational courses (both are required for the concentration):

SBS 311 Theories of Personality*
SBS 411 Counseling and Psychotherapy*

Plus one course selected from each of the following categories:

Psychosocial Disorders and Services:
SBS 303 Abnormal Psychology*
SBS 346 Introduction to Social Services*
SBS 348 Responding to Mental Health Crisis in the Community*
SBS 350 Psychosocial Disorders of Childhood and Adolescence

Diversity and Multiculturalism:
SBS 315 The Social Psychology of Disability*
SBS 316 Diversity in the Workplace
SBS 345 Diversity: Many Voices
SBS 470 Study Abroad

Developmental Contexts:
PSY 325 Psychology of Adulthood and Aging
GRN 318 Adult Development and Aging
SBS 305 Child & Adolescent Development
SBS 341 The Family
SBS 375 Infant Mental Health and Attachment

Applied Topics:
SBS 304/ ANT 233 Food and Culture
SBS 308/ ANT 302 Medical Anthropology
SBS 332 Death, Dying, and Denial
SBS 343 Substance Use Disorders*
SBS 344 Violence: Causes and Control 
SBS 349 Trauma and Narrative
SBS 390 Brain and Behavior
SBS 420 Mindfulness

MHRT/C subtrack:

Students who wish to earn Maine MHRT/C (Mental Health Rehabilitation Technician - Community) certification should inform their academic and faculty advisors as early as possible.

Specific courses which meet necessary competencies must be taken to be eligible for this certification, and these courses are identified by the * in the list of courses above. Please work closely with your faculty advisor. This state-level credential is now issued through the Muskie School’s Center for Learning (CFL); more information is available at http://cfl-muskie.org/.